The GiveWell Blog

Haiti earthquake relief seems less cost-effective than everyday international aid

The disaster in Haiti – and the media coverage of it – pull at the emotions in a way that everyday suffering in the developing world does not. However, our rough calculations suggest that in fact, a donor can have a bigger impact for less money by funding top charities’ everyday activities to reduce unnecessary… Read More

Can choosing the right charity double your impact?

Reader Evan writes: I’ve been thinking about how best to donate to Haiti, and I reviewed some of the materials on your website and found them pretty helpful and persuasive. So thank you! But then my law firm announced that it would match donations to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. Given that, I… Read More

More on the microfinance “repayment rate”

We are concerned about the way repayment rates are often reported. We’ve written about this issue before, arguing that different delinquency indicators can easily be misleading and pointing to one example we found where a microfinance institution’s reported repayment rate substantially obscures the portion of its borrowers that have repaid loans. Following the links from… Read More

Haiti earthquake donations

Update: see our official page on Haiti earthquake relief, which consolidates advice from us and a few other sources we have high opinions of. Reader Brigid writes: “I would love to hear any thoughts you have on contributions in light of the crisis in Haiti. My sense is that now of all times is when… Read More

Some stats on GiveWell’s web traffic and influence on donations

Before we start giving our answers to the questions of this post, I wanted to share some raw data that we look at to gauge how things are going. The charts/tables below cover the following: “Money moved,” i.e., donations made to GiveWell-recommended charities due to GiveWell’s research Website traffic. This is just a subset of… Read More

GiveWell’s self-evaluation and plan

Our current top priority is assessing the state of GiveWell: what we’ve accomplished, where we stand, and where we should focus our limited resources next. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be trying to examine ourselves as dispassionately and critically as possible, and sharing our self-review in something close to real time via this blog. GiveWell’s… Read More